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The spread of disinformation: a case study

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patchick, Nov 2, 2007.

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  1. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The Asante Samuel tattoo episode was a dramatic illustration of the Pandora's box aspect of sports media. Once the "Get Paid" meme was out there via Jackie MacMullen's erroneous report, there was no calling it back. Other journalists referred to it as fact.

    This surely happens all the time with both opinions and facts. Usually it's just hard to recognize when reporters are playing a game of telephone. So it's interesting to when you can actually spot the DNA of a particular factoid.

    A couple of months ago a piece in Deadspin said of BB: "This is a man who is known as "N.E. Coach" in Madden because he refuses to join the NFL Head Coaches Association." I blasted the writer because there is no such thing as the "NFL Head Coaches Association." It existed in one place only...the Wikipedia entry on Bill Belichick. The basic Madden concept was accurate, but the mistake showed that writer had "sourced" his facts solely from a Wikipedia page and didn't bother double-checking. But hey, it's just Deadspin, it's not supposed to be taken seriously...right? So I forgot about it until today, when I was reading an article praised in another thread here and hit this:

    There are reports that Belichick is the only NFL head coach who doesn't appear in the Madden video games (it reads "NE Coach" instead) because he alone refuses to join "NFL Head Coaches Association" which markets their likenesses.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_y...ug=dw-billbelichick110107&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

    Well whaddya know. "There are reports," eh? Sure, Wikipedia...and Deadspin! Now that Yahoo has it, let's watch and see if this tidbit spreads. It's a trivial matter in this case, but a case study of sourcing and the spread of (dis)information.
  2. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Then, if I may indulge my curiosity (no attempt at criticism or judgment here)--why is Belichick the only coach not depicted in Madden?
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2007
  3. homergreg

    homergreg Rookie

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    He's too animated for a video game to capture?
  4. Fixit

    Fixit Rookie

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    They couldn't get the cutoff hoodie quite right.
  5. DGameguy

    DGameguy Rookie

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    Parcells was always listed as Dallas Coach, and Bill has bene in previous versions of the game.
  6. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    :rocker:

    Sorry, I should have made it clearer. The basic concept is right -- BB isn't part of the coaching union. (Neither was Parcells, and I believe a couple of others.) But the details, particularly the union name, trace back exclusively to the anonymous fan who edited the Wikipedia page.
  7. Slagathor

    Slagathor Rookie

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  8. Fixit

    Fixit Rookie

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    Hell, I like Belichick even more now.
  9. FlyingElvis75

    FlyingElvis75 Rookie

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    Um, wow. I Googled "NFL Head Coaches Association" too, and I can't find any reference to it except in relation to Madden and Belichick. Does it actually exist?

    There's an "NFL Coaches Association," but it seems like more of a union effort for assistant coaches, not something that every head coach is expected to join:


    http://www.boston.com/sports/football/patriots/articles/2005/02/06/coordinating_their_efforts/

    [Edit] Bad formatting
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2007
  10. Slagathor

    Slagathor Rookie

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    I just posted it.

    http://www.nflcoaches.com/

    Based on the website.....looks like a real crackerjack association.:rolleyes:

    Kind of like the Elks club of the NFL.
  11. njpatsfan

    njpatsfan Rookie

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    Reports lazy with the facts

    Wikipedia biased and inaccurate.

    Whoda guessed that would happen ?

    Very rapidly we are becoming a society where truth is governed by what google decides to present as the 1st 10 search results.

    R
  12. FlyingElvis75

    FlyingElvis75 Rookie

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    Damn you, Google!! Damn the whole internets!!
  13. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    #75 Jersey

    Don't blame the pencil when the writer's too lazy to fact check.:)
  14. FlyingElvis75

    FlyingElvis75 Rookie

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    But the pencil wrote it. THE PENCIL WROTE IT!
  15. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Heck yeah! Don't believe anything you read online! Especially this!
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